Make crispy marinated air fried tofu in 20 minutes. Simple lemon & oregano marinade + 10 other plant-based air fryer recipes!
I recently bought an air fryer, and it’s made a world of difference in my cooking. I live in a tiny NYC apartment, so I’m very hesitant to purchase any kitchen gadgets. We only have 3 big cabinets, and those are reserved for food and dish ware.
But after mapping out a spot on my countertop, I decided to take a chance and buy an air fryer. Although it takes up counter space, it has revolutionized the way I cook. I’m able to make yummy meals in half the time.
Is air fried food healthy?
An air fryer swirls hot air around the food in order to cook it and create a crispy texture. It’s like a countertop convection oven. As compared to traditionally fried food that is submerged in oil, the air fryer requires very little oil to make food crispy.
That means the air fryer cuts down on saturated fat and calories that would normally make fried food “bad” for you. In other words, yes air frying is healthier than traditional frying. [Read more: How Healthy Are Air Fryers?]
It’s not easy to make crispy tofu and the air fryer does just that. But the air fryer is also good for roasting veggies, as well as baking. The final texture depends on the temperature that you use to cook the food.
How to cook tofu in the air fryer
If you think the air fryer is just for onion rings and mozzarella sticks, think again. It’s a great tool to use with healthy foods, like tofu! Plus, it’s a simple way to transform a soft block of tofu into crispy bites in just 20 minutes.
Here’s my method for making crispy tofu in the air fryer. First, you place a block of extra firm tofu on a towel and lay it on a plate.
Then, cover the tofu with another paper towel and put a second plate on top. Put something heavy, like a stack of books, on the top plate. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes to squeeze the water out of the tofu. Don’t skip this step– it makes a huge difference in the texture of the tofu!
While the tofu is being pressed, make the marinade. Although tofu is usually paired with Asian style marinades, like soy, miso or teriyaki, I like to take a different approach. This lemon and oregano marinade has the flavors of a simple Greek vinaigrette.
To make, whisk together a ¼ cup of olive oil, juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons lemon juice), 2 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon of salt.
Next, remove the plates and books from the tofu and place on a cutting board. Slice it into small cubes, and then put it in a bowl with the marinade. Toss the tofu to coat and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. You can leave it in the fridge overnight, if you prefer to prepare the tofu ahead of time.
When you’re ready to cook, place the tofu in the air fryer. Turn the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 20 minutes. If you have a basket like the picture below, you’ll have to toss the tofu halfway through the cooking process. If you have an air fryer that turns the food, you can leave it in for the full twenty minutes.
When the tofu is ready, it will be crispy and golden brown! Serve it with a side of brown rice or quinoa and some roasted veggies.
Vegan & vegetarian air fryer recipes
Whether you’re new to the air fryer or just want to utilize it more, you can dive into any of these plant-based recipes. It’s so easy to cook veggies, falafels, chips and more in the air fryer. I rounded up some of my favorite yummy and healthy recipes from RD friends in the liste below!
- Crispy Chickpeas (Air Fryer OR Oven!) by Chelsea Dishes
- Air Fryer French Toast Sticks by Colleen Christensen Nutrition
- Crispy Avocado Fries (Air Fryer or Baked) by Marisa Moore
- Easy Air Fryer Carrot Fries by Milk and Honey Nutrition
- Air Fryer Falafel by Shaw Simple Swaps
- How to Make Air Fryer Zucchini Chips by Kara Lydon
- Air Fryer Cauliflower by Kara Lydon
- Seasoned Air Fryer Potato Wedges by Snacking in Sneakers
- Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprouts by The Domestic Dietitian
- Air Fryer Tortilla Chips by A Grateful Meal
Or pin and share the Greek Lemon Tofu recipe below!
Lemon & Oregano Air Fryer Tofu
This crispy tofu is marinated in lemon juice and oregano & comes together in 20 minutes!
- 1 block tofu
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Press out the tofu using the plate method.
Meanwhile, whisk together a the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.
Slice the tofu into small cubes, and then put it in a bowl with the marinade. Toss the tofu to coat and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. You can leave it in the fridge overnight, if you prefer to prepare the tofu ahead of time.
When you’re ready to cook, place the tofu in the air fryer. Turn the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 20 minutes.*
*If you you air fryer has a basket (like the picture above), you’ll have to toss the tofu halfway through the cooking process. If you have an air fryer that turns the food, you can leave it in for the full twenty minutes.